Bud Black and Charlie Blackmon share more than a spot in the Colorado Rockies dugout. They also share bookend birthdays with each other.
Black celebrates his birthday on June 30 while Blackmon blows out his candles on July 1. Both certainly felt in a more jovial mood on Friday night as the Rockies snapped an eight-game losing streak with a 6-3 decision over the Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix.
Birthdays seemingly have always been a good time for Black to see his team snap a major losing streak. According to Elias, last night’s win on Black’s 60th birthday isn’t the first time the Rockies skipper has seen his team come through with a victory gift for him. On his 51st birthday in 2008, with Black as the manager, the San Diego Padres broke an eight-game losing streak with a 15-8 win over the Rockies at Coors Field.
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Get this … snapping at least an eight-game losing streak on a manager’s birthday has only happened twice in the last 40 years in Major League Baseball … and Black was on the bench for both of them. Talk about perfect timing.
Of course, it could have been worse for the 2017 Rockies and 2008 Padres. The record for a losing streak broken on a manager’s birthday was 11 by the New York Mets for legendary manager Casey Stengel. On his 73rd birthday, the Mets notched a 5-1 road decision over the Los Angeles Dodgers. It may have snapped the 11-game streak but certainly didn’t help the Mets too much as they finished the season with a 51-111 mark.
For Blackmon, who turns 31 on Saturday, one of his best birthday presents could have been when he looked at the schedule and saw the Rockies would be playing in Arizona on July 1. Chuck Nazty has loved to hit against the Diamondbacks throughout his career, including a home run to open last night’s game.
In his career, Blackmon is now hitting .355 (111-of-313) against Arizona. That marks the second-highest batting average among the 109 players who have totaled 200 or more at-bats against the Diamondbacks. Who ranks first on the list? Another Rockies slugger, Larry Walker, who finished his career with a .357 average against the D-backs.